Sonntag, Oktober 07, 2007

Laser Regatta, Schleswiger Stadtmeisterschaft

Well, it´s already been a week ago since we have sailed our yearly LASERV „Stadtmeisterschaft“. A regatta privately organised by the local sailmakers, Ger and Roger. HOLM Segelmacher. It happens once a year, always on the Sunday after the Blue Ribbon race from the local Club. The Blue Ribbon had to be cancelled due to the flood on Friday. The whole club and downstairs facilities had been flooded and were full of mud. You might have seen the pictures on my last blog entry. Anyway on Sunday the water had lowered enough to rig the boats and to get on with the business of sailing. PRO Henning had called for a minimum of four races with three upwind and downwind legs. 22 competitors, mostly from the region of North Germany, and some are only bringing their boats out for this regatta as I do with a chartered boat. As usual I had promised myself last year, when not feeling really comfortable in the boat (the fridge door) to give practise a priority this year before the regatta. But as usual there were too many other things on the agenda and the plan did not materialise.

Kerstin had chartered a boat at the local sailing school, which we had to rescue from in the “flood”. It had split from it´s trolley and was floating around with other “debris”. We pulled and pushed it on dry land, drained the water from inside and outside and Kerstin was giving it a thorough wash and wax on Saturday late afternoon.

I also managed to look after my boat on Saturday afternoon but Hartmut, the owner had already saved it from floating around in the shed. Lasers and Optis had piled up but the damage was very small. I checked for parts but not for water in the hull as the drainage was closed pretty tight. Next day through the inspection hole I found a lot of water and drained the boat before rigging. It is an old boat with an old sail and without the latest boomvang and things which make a Laser more trimmable. I pulled the sheet to max, fastened the vang and stretched the outhaul to the max. This will make for a decent trim once under way and these old ropes are always easing a bit when getting wet. The mainsheet seemed to be very, very long and I tangled with my feet in it during the racing. Maybe it had been the safety rope. You cannot just a cut a rope on a borrowed boat, can you?

The starting line was heavily biased on the boat (Henning´s X-79) which nobody wanted to hit of course and there was a pile up of boats. It seemed that guys who are sailing this area a lot wanted the right side. Maybe due to the high apartment tower which is sittingon the left side in the West of the course which had to be laid with a windward leg to 270°. I started mid line to get free air but could not use it as best due to one or two boats under me gaining. I tacked…uuuhps way too many boats still on starboard and I had to tack back. Got entangled in the sheet and lost big time. I promised myself not doing so many tacks, especially not after the start. Why falling back into mistakes which I thought, I would not do anymore. Bearing away at the windward mark in a gust had also been a problem for me. But there were others who did worse. And I immediately jibed to the inside which in the short legs gave me a nice mark rounding position. If only the boathandling had been better. I still happened to be in the top ten but Roger, one of the sailmakers had a nice lead. Last years winner Ger, the Boss at HOLM, was in the near distance but after half way around the course he was in the leading group of 7 boats and I was in the middle of nowhere. Between the top group and the backmarkers. Around 10 to 12.

I did two acceptable races afterwards with some placings around 7th – 8th (still no scoring sheet available) but in the fourth race, I did a very bad start, nearly fouling the anchor line of the starting boat, now placed at the pin end and nearly came last at the first windward mark. Gained some places downwind but finished around 15th. Beer and pizza after the races and applause for every participant from last to first at the price giving, held by PRO Henning. This year Roger won and Ger came second. The first five boats were equipped with Laser sails made by HOLM, which is not within the class rules and my gut feeling is, that the cloth which these guys are using, is a bit tougher and stronger than the standard Laser sail. No excuse for my 10th place which I must say, I am happy with. Having beaten two guys with a new boat, new sails and spending many hours in the boat practising together with hotshot Roger.

I do hope that I can get a photo or two from the event to post a little later. Today I used the nice autumn sun and some gusts around 3 Bft for some practise with my Bladerider Moth. Did some bad tacks, still not being able to foil through a jibe and having problems downwind. Foiling no problem but the VMG just does not look right. I will see next weekend at the class championship in Bad Zwischenahn how it is going within the class. Still so much to learn for me in the hot little boat. Really looking forward to the weekend with only onegoal: Not to become last of the Foiler Moths. Stay tuned.

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